Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Make Friends and Influence....Birds

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time visiting my grandparents at their home on Ahmic Lake. They had many different bird feeders for many different kinds of birds, and bird watching in the winter was particularly interesting. 

Now, we definitely don't have the extensive bird feeders that they did (and still do now that they've moved into Parry Sound), I did learn a thing or two about feeding birds from those days, like how Blue Jays are very social, even friendly birds, and absolutely love peanuts. 

If you want Blue Jays to flock to your house, go out and grab a bag of peanuts in the shell. Toss a handful out every so often, and call out to the birds - I have my kids yell out,  "hey, Jays!".   Pretty soon, you'll have Blue Jays flitting about, and they will come and call to YOU, eventually. They are bold birds. 

On these bitterly cold, but brilliantly sunny days, making new bird friends has been an activity my little kids have loved, even if their yelling at the birds through the windows makes it near impossible to get a decent photo. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Hardest Part

Dear Mom, 

I want to tell you about the hardest part. The hardest part wasn't finding out you had died. It isn't going through your things, and it wasn't even turning my back and walking away from your casket in the cemetery. The hardest part was at the end of your service, when we followed your casket out into the cold and snow. 

A piper was playing Amazing Grace. Michael, Matthew, Mel, Duncan, Mark and Luke were your pallbearers. I held tight to Henry's hand (Rick had taken Clare to another room), and we walked up the aisle out of the chapel. I couldn't look up- I didn't want to look at everyone looking at me.  Holding Henry's hand was the only thing that kept my feet moving and me upright. 

When we got outside, they placed you in the hearse. We were all sobbing. Deep, soul wrenching sobs. Your boys, Katie and me. I tried so hard to not completely break down because Henry was with me and I didn't want him to be scared. 

I remember Matt standing with his head down, hand on your casket, sobbing. It was cold, but we didn't feel it. Snow fell lightly all around. 

And then that was that. They closed the door to the hearse. 


And that was the hardest part. 

I miss you so much. 



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Three Weeks Ago Today

I don't know how it's already been three weeks since my mom died. It's been three weeks, and most of the time it doesn't feel real. 

I don't really know what else to say except: three weeks and I've barely scratched the surface of the emotional iceberg that I'm carrying around with me. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015


My mom died in a car accident. 

My mom DIED in a car accident (not just injured). 
MY mom died in a car accident (no one else's). 
My MOM died in a car accident (my mother). 
My mom died in a CAR ACCIDENT (sudden, immediate, too soon, preventable). 

No matter how I say it, it somehow still doesn't feel real, and yet no matter how I say it, it's still my reality. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Grief is a delicate thing.

I find I'm moving through the world cautiously, trying to move slowly and mindfully. I don't want to do too much, take on too much, or expose myself to something that will be too much.

Yesterday, I felt great. I woke up to my alarm, took a supply job, and had a fabulous and rewarding day.

Today I woke up feeling strong, and I decided to go grocery shopping. On my way there I passed an accident on the highway. Nothing horribly serious, but it wrecked me. 

I ended up in the parking lot of the grocery store gasping for breath and sobbing. 

 What hit me had today was the fact that my mom died all alone.  This will always haunt me, along with the words my sister spoke to me the day she died, "they worked on her at the scene...". 

Something happened after I saw the accident, though that I need to share. The very first car I saw after I got off the highway was the exact same car as my mom's. EXACTLY the same. I don't know what to make of that except to say in the time I needed her strength, she was there. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Your Funeral

Dear Mom, 

We had your funeral this past Saturday, but you already knew that. Even though the day was filled with soul-wrenching sorrow and tears, and I knew you were gone, I still found myself wanting to turn to you and tell you things about the day, just as if you were right beside me and it was someone else's funeral. 

I wanted to tell you about all the people who came. So many friends, old and new, colleagues and of course, family members came out to say their final goodbye to you. You would have been surprised at the old friends and neighbours who showed up. Hearing your colleagues talk about you was really special to me.  I've always been proud of the work you did. 

I wanted to tell you how Michael delivered a beautiful eulogy. He delivered your story and a message of love and living life to its fullest- everyday, with no regrets. 

I wanted to tell you they should have gone with the rose coloured lipstick, and not the peach, but of course you were beautiful anyway. 

I want to tell you everyday from now until the day *I* die how much I love you and how much I will miss you. But like I said before, you already know that.

Love always,


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Grief

My grief lays like a thick blanket on me. Sadness has settled into my bones. Despair weighs me down. I move through life dragging my heavy limbs. I'm underwater. My back hurts. My head is a fog. I want to lay down and sleep. I want to sleep for days. 

I push through most of the time. Kids need to be fed, and loved and I'm afraid if I stop moving now, I'll never start again. Sometimes though,  the thick, muffled hands of my grief reach up and pull me down. I am overwhelmed with thick sleepiness. I am engulfed. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Still Waiting to Wake Up

Do you ever have dreams that seem so real that when you wake up there's a moment or two where you're not quite sure if what just happened during sleep is actually reality? 

I do. Something terrible happens to my kids, or my husband, and I wake up panicked.  A flood of relief follows when it turns out to be all a dream. 

My mom died on Thursday, January 29.  

My sister called me around four in the afternoon with the terrible news.  A car accident.  Immediate death. 

Since that call, my life, the lives of my siblings and my family have been turned completely upside down. No time to breathe, we ran a metaphorical marathon last week toward her funeral. So many details and so much work.   And the work doesn't stop now. There is a long, long painful road ahead of us. 

I just keep waiting to wake up.